Rick Newman | The Upside of the Sequester

Everybody seems to hate the across-the-board government spending cuts due to kick in March 1.

President Barack Obama called the cuts—known in Washington as the "sequester"—a "meat-cleaver approach" to trimming the government’s annual deficits, warning that they will visit a host of plagues upon America: Military readiness will suffer. School quality will decline. Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs.

Obama didn’t mention one other thing the sequester might accomplish: restoring faith in America’s creditworthiness.

With everybody in Washington bad-mouthing the sequester, you might think it was imposed on the United States by a dreaded enemy. In reality, the sequester is the government’s own doing. Back in 2011, Obama and his Republican adversaries in Congress agreed that deep spending cuts, totaling about $110 billion a year for nine years, would go into effect in 2013 if they didn’t come up with a better way to start paying down the $16.5 trillion national debt. They didn’t, so the sequester looms.

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